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Martin Logan Dynamo 700w 10-inch Wireless Powered Subwoofer - Review

Flexible connectivity and configuration with great performance

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Martin Logan Dynamo 700w Wireless Subwoofer with Accessories

Martin Logan Dynamo 700w Wireless Subwoofer with Accessories

Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
Subwoofers are an integral part of a home theater setup. However, they aren't always convenient to place and use. Martin Logan has made its Dynamo 700w subwoofer so that makes it easier to place in your room. First off, you can connect it by standard RCA audio cable using either LFE or Line Input connection option, or you can take advantage of its provided wireless transmitter and send your subwoofer audio signal from your home theater receiver, or a sound bar with a subwoofer output across the room to the Dynamo 700w without the clutter of a long audio cable.

For more details and perspective on the Dynamo 700w, keep reading this review. After reading the following review, Also check out a close-up look at the Dynamo 700w in my Photo Profile.

Product Overview

Here are the features and specifications for the Martin Logan Dynamo 700w:

1. Design: Sealed Enclosure (Acoustic Suspension), built-in amplifier, 10-inch diameter driver that can be configured either for down-firing or front-firing operation.

2. Selectable Wired or Wireless operation. Wireless Martin Logan SWT-2 transmitter included.

Wireless Mode: 2.4 GHz transmission frequency, 30 foot - Direct line of sight not required.

Wired Mode: RCA LFE or L/R audio cable connection.

2. Amplifier Type: Class AB

3. Power output: 300 Watts RMS (600 watts peak).

4. Frequency Response: 24–200 Hz ± 3dB

5. Crossover: Adjustable from 35–120 Hz

6. Driver: One 10-inch front or down-firing configurable driver

7. Subwoofer Dimensions: Down-Firing Orientation (HxWxD) 12.5 x 11.7 x 12.5-inches,

8. Subwoofer Dimensions: Front-Firing Orientation (HxWxD) 13.5 x 11.7 x 12.3-inches.

9. Subwoofer Weight: 26.5 pounds

10. Available Finish: Black

Hardware Used

Martin Logan Dynamo 700w Wireless Subwoofer Driver View

Martin Logan Dynamo 700w Wireless Subwoofer Driver View

Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
The additional home theater hardware used in this review included:

Blu-ray Disc Players: OPPO BDP-93,

DVD Player: OPPO DV-980H.

Home Theater Receivers Used: Onkyo TX-SR705.

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System (5.1 channels): EMP Tek E5Ci center channel speaker, four E5Bi compact bookshelf speakers for left and right main and surrounds, and an ES10i 100 watt powered subwoofer.

On the speaker system used, both the original subwoofer and 700w were used for comparison. Settings were adjusted accordingly.

Sound Bar with Subwoofer Output: Martin Logan Motion Vision (on review loan)

TV: Westinghouse LVM-37s3 1080p LCD Monitor

Audio/Video connections made with Accell interconnect cables. 16 Gauge Speaker Wire used.

Software Used

Blu-ray Discs: Battleship, Ben Hur, Cowboys and Aliens, The Hunger Games, Jaws, Jurassic Park Trilogy, Megamind, Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Standard DVDs: The Cave, House of the Flying Daggers, Kill Bill - Vol 1/2, Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut), Lord of Rings Trilogy, Master and Commander, Outlander, U571, and V For Vendetta.

CDs: Al Stewart - A Beach Full of Shells, Beatles - LOVE, Blue Man Group - The Complex, Joshua Bell - Bernstein - West Side Story Suite, Eric Kunzel - 1812 Overture, HEART - Dreamboat Annie, Nora Jones - Come Away With Me, Sade - Soldier of Love.

DVD-Audio discs included: Queen - Night At The Opera/The Game, Eagles - Hotel California, and Medeski, Martin, and Wood - Uninvisible, Sheila Nicholls - Wake.

SACD discs used included: Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon, Steely Dan - Gaucho, The Who - Tommy.

Set-up and Installation

For this review, I installed the Dynamo 700w using both front firing and down-firing configurations, as well as using both the wired and wireless connection option.

To further set-up the Dynamo 700w, I alternately connected both the Onkyo TX0705's and Martin Logan Motion Vision's subwoofer pre-out to the LFE input on the Subwoofer.

Also, when using the wireless option, I connect the provided wireless transmitter to the sub pre-out of the Onkyo, but since the Motion Vision sound bar has a transmitter already built-in, I did not need to attach the external transmitter. In both wireless setups I successfully executed the wireless synch process, which consists of pressing a button on the Dynamo 700w and watch for a snych light to emit a steady light. To confirm the wireless connection I played some selections off of a test CD and DVD.

Successful wireless transmission is not the only important factor. To get better performance from a subwoofer, and the Dynamo 700w specifically, you need to make sure it placed in room properly and matches well with the rest of your speakers.

As far a physical placement goes, Martin Logan suggests a corner, and then pull the subwoofer away from wall slightly until you feel you have the best bass response. One technique that works well is "crawling for bass". Also, since the Dynamo 700w can be aligned in either a front-firing or down-firing configuration, you might try placement using both configurations and see what might work best for you.

After you have determined how much, and the quality of bass result, now you need to match 700w to the rest of your speakers so that the crossover frequency and volume level is balanced.

The quickest way to do this when connected to a home theater receiver is to use your receiver's onboard automatic speaker setup system (such as Audyssey, MCACC, YPAO, etc...). These setup systems provide the home theater receiver a way to control and set the subwoofer level and equalization in relation to your other speakers. However, if you want to set the crossover and level of the subwoofer manually, the 700w does have its own crossover and level controls.

Audio Performance

Martin Logan Dynamo 700w Wireless Subwoofer SWT-2 Wireless Transmitter

Martin Logan Dynamo 700w Wireless Subwoofer SWT-2 Wireless Transmitter

Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
I found that the Martin Logan Dynamo 700w worked in both the front-firing and down-firing configurations well with the rest of speakers I used and also with the Motion Vision Sound Bar. If I had to choose which configuration I liked best, I would say I preferred the down-firing option best. I felt it it provided some added beefiness to explosions and special effects for the home theater movie experience.

Also, the 700w compared pretty well to two other subs I used for comparison, (the Klipsch Synergy Sub10 and the EMP Tek ES10i), I found that the 700w dipped down pretty low and loud, besting the EMP Tek and just hair off from the Klipsch Synergy Sub10. The main observation for me was that the Dynamo 700w was extremely tight.

When confronted with Blu-ray soundtracks contain lots of LFE effects (such as Battleship and the Jurassic Park Trilogy on Blu-ray and Master and Commander and U571 on DVD), the Dynamo 700w showed no strain, fatigue, and very little drop-off at the lowest frequencies, producing LFE effects with impressive impact. As a music subwoofer, the Dynamo 700w reproduced clean, tight, bass response, however, I didn't think that it captured some the mid-bass nuances of acoustic bass as well as the comparison subs.

What did stand out for me was how forceful and clean, but not exaggerated, the bass response was even at low volume levels, the Dynamo 700w exhibited very little, if any, unnatural low frequency drop off at any volume level, and had excellent recovery time between dynamic bass peaks.

Final Take

The Martin Logan Dynamo 700w combines very flexible installation options, with both front or down firing configuration as well as wired and wireless connectivity, with good performance. If you are looking for a good subwoofer for either as a companion for the Martin Logan Motion Vision sound bar or if you are looking for a subwoofer to add to your existing system, definitely give the 700w consideration. For a closer look at the physical features of the Dynamo 700w, also check out my Photo Profile.

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Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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